Michael D. Karpeles is Co-Chair of the Chicago Labor & Employment Practice. Mike is recognized as one of the top employment lawyers in Illinois and the U.S.. He has wide-ranging experience in complex commercial litigation with a concentration in employment law. Mike regularly defends employers in state and federal courts and administrative agencies around the country in class and collective actions as well as individual cases involving allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge and violations of wage and hour laws. He also handles cases under the ADA, ERISA, FMLA and whistleblower statutes. He has litigated numerous matters involving covenants not to compete, employee raiding, trade secret misappropriation and employment contracts.
Mike also provides advice and counsel to clients on how to minimize potential liability under the state and federal employment laws, including in connection with mass layoffs, reductions in force, merger and acquisition transactions, and OFCCP compliance audits. He negotiates and creates executive compensation, severance and release agreements, and advises companies concerning their employment policies. In both litigation and counseling, he has represented clients in a number of industries, including utility services, metals, manufacturing, retail, banking and financial services, commodities and futures, airlines, toys and sporting goods, cellular communications, real estate management, proprietary electronic trading, debt collection, consumer products, computer, health care, clinical research, education, and religious and other not-for-profit organizations.
- Defend class and individual discrimination, harassment and retaliation litigation
- Non-compete and trade secret litigation
- Employment and executive compensation agreements
- Wage and hour class and collective action defense
- OFCCP, DOL and other government agency investigations and defense of litigation
- Strategic advice in connection with reductions in force (RIFs), mass layoffs, and corporate transactions to minimize employment law risks